Sport After the game: The sporting quotes of 2019

After the game: The sporting quotes of 2019

Indigenous surfer Soli Bailey who was allowed to compete under the Australian and Aboriginal flags. Photo: AAP
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It’s been a wild year in sport, with an Ashes series that intrigued cricket fans, the rise of Ashleigh Barty from tennis obscurity and AFL and NRL seasons that featured controversy and action at every turn. After the games have been won and lost, there’s the reflection. Here’s some of the best quotable quotes of 2019.


“You have to tip your hat to India. We know how hard it is to win overseas so congratulations to Virat (Kohli, captain) and Ravi (Shastri, manager) and their team, it is the first team they have ever done it (here) so well done to those guys.”  – A gracious Tim Paine after India secured an historic Test series win over Australia.


“You took my f—ing choice!” – LeBron James to opposing team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo after missing out on adding Ben Simmons to his NBA All-Star team.

”I will be more strong for this country. I will be strong here, just for Australia.  I will die in Australia and I love Australia. Thank you very much. I would like to say thanks to Australia.”  – Australian lower-tier footballer Hakeem al-Araibi on landing in Melbourne after being detained in Thailand.


“We’re a global game, we’re not kicking around in a tiddlywink competition like the NRL, which is only played in this part of the world.” – Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore.

“I kind of looked at everyone surfing, and I just realised they’re all running their Australian flags on each shoulder and, you know, it was a really special thing to ask and they (the World Surf League) allowed that, and I just think it’s really cool to see them getting behind me.” – Aussie surfer Soli Bailey on becoming the first surfer to compete under both the Australian and Aboriginal flags.


“Warning – Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters. HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES”. – Israel Folau’s homophobic post on Instagram which ended his Wallabies career.

Former Wallaby Israel Folau dominated the headlines in 2019. Photo: AAP

“Shame on anyone that booed a champion.” – Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was unhappy when Essendon boos drowned out captain Scott Pendlebury’s acceptance speech for winning the Anzac Medal.

“There’s not much more to say. To have had a horse like her come into my life … I’m so proud of her.” – Jockey Hugh Bowman after Winx won her 33rd straight race in her final outing in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick.


“We could have had Jesus Christ playing down there tonight and I reckon he would have struggled on him, to be fair.” – Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was impressed by Western Bulldogs youngster Aaron Naughton.

“All the credit’s to the boys and f—ing unbelievable. I’m sorry to swear on live TV.” – Sydney FC’s Reza Ghoochannejhad after scoring the winning penalty in the A-League Grand Final.


“I’m so proud of the girls. We knew we were in it at half-time. And you know, there was a lot of critics talking about us but we’re back, so suck on that one.” – Sam Kerr after the Matildas’ comeback win over Brazil at the Women’s World Cup.

Sam Kerr could be taking her goal-scoring skills to Europe. Photo: AAP

“It’s amazing, I’ve always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd but even though I’m not in Australia [right now] that’s what it felt like today.” – Hannah Green after winning the Women’s PGA Championship in Minnesota.


“The seaweed is always greener in someone else’s lake.” – Ash Barty quoting The Little Mermaid at Wimbledon.

“It’s all noise. It’s all hyperbole. It’s got more froth than Theranos.” – Fremantle coach Ross Lyon, discussing a possible move away from the AFL club.


“Took you 20 minutes for this one. 20 minutes. Oh, you brought me two. Thanks.” – Nick Kyrgios to umpire Adel Nour after Nour’s delay in sourcing a white towel in the Australian’s defeat to Kyle Edmund at the Rogers Cup.


“We’ve got to find an altar somewhere and burn a sacrifice to the basketball gods, ’cause they’re not kissing us on the d–k yet, like they do (to) Spain. I feel like Spain are kissed on the d–k by the basketball gods every time we play them.” – Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley following his side’s double-overtime loss to Spain in the basketball World Cup semi-final.

“I felt at home. Footy’s footy. Doesn’t matter if I’m playing local, WAFL or AFL. Footy’s footy.”  – Richmond’s Marlion Pickett after starring in the 2019 AFL grand final on his debut.

Debutante dreaming: Marlion Pickett evades Giants defenders in the grand final. Photo: AAP


“I’m in a brace but I’m on top of the world; we’ve just gone back to back.” – Sydney Roosters’ Mitchell Aubusson after the NRL Grand Final.

“As a game we stand together, side by side … I’m lost.” – James Ryan forgets the words at the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony ahead of the NRL grand final.


“I want to cry.” – Frankie Dettori after Master Of Reality was narrowly beaten in the Melbourne Cup.

“French is a bit of a challenge. My wife and I went to the pharmacy to pick up a flu remedy and I think we ended up with a packet of condoms, which is a bit late for us with four kids.” – James Maloney on settling in with the Catalans Dragons


“Come tomorrow night, I’ll do all of Australia a favour and knock this clown out.” – IBF Australasian super welterweight boxing champion Tim Tszyu ahead of his TKO victory over fellow Aussie boxer Jack Brubaker in Sydney  

“To be able to do it twice is very special and something that I’ll be able to look back on later in life and be very proud of.” – Australian golfer Matt Jones after winning the Australian Open for the second time.